Response to Colbert King's Washington Post Article
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We all most likely know someone that has committed suicide, or we know of a person who has whether it be a friend or a family member, or a coworker. Someone in your life has been affected by suicide in someway. The first person I lost by suicide was my basketball coach in 3rd grade. He hung himself on a tree at the local preschool. The second person I lost was a family friend who jumped to his death on the Golden Gate Bridge.
Then there is me who will always be scared of the days that suicidal thoughts come back into my head, but I know I am stronger than they are. I, like many who have struggled with a mental health condition, undertstand the feeling and of wanting self destruction. However, I am glad I am alive. I see how beautiful life is now, because I have found the strength to move on in life and inspire others that giving up is not the only choice you have when you feel like nothing else is possible.
If we drove by an incident that is just similarly described in the article link that I attached I am sure we would feel a loss. The thing is that when we are at our worst, dying seems to be the only way out of our tortured lives, but it is actually a temporary fix to a big problem. Patients with mental health disorders and those with similar experiences can understand that validation that we get when we come up with thoughts of suicide and share them with others. However, we have to realize that just as there is a new a day we all have an opportunity to give another tomorrow a chance and give the world the opportunity to show us it's best.
We have to act before a person chooses suicide. Some may argue that we do not have the chance to save a person, but I think we do have that opportunity if things start changing in a world that does not just recognize people are jumping to their death or thinking about it, but being there when a person is thinking about suicide and telling them 'I love you, we can do this together'. People are losing the love of their family, their friends, and their children because of a diagnosis that only a small portion of the global population understands. I do not think we realize the purity and genuine luck that all of us have when we have people around us that love us for who we are and all of our imperfections. What is it like to feel, see, and experience something so traumatizing on our own? It is like being in a prison called life, and even though you are breathing and are seeing it constantly feels as though you are looking at the world's cold stone walls.
To write like Colbert King is powerful. We all should be blessed to know someone like him is in our world and writing for the Washington Post. People say they do not like to write or read, but I assure you when you are at your wits end, sometimes reading is not bad after all. A writer can find that one experience, that one memory, and that one feeling that makes you feel like the world is on your side.
Could I Have Stopped Myself?
I do not know if I could have saved myself from what has seemed like a million depressive episodes, but I do know that we really do have a choice when it comes to experiencing the stigma of mental health conditions. I know there are more Colbert Kings in the world, something I never believed until I gave myself more time to become the detective that I am now. I found the article by simply starting a morning reading about bipolar on a separate article from the Washington Post.
As individuals that have experienced or are experiencing suicidal depression we should take our experiences and know that our strong emotionsdo have the potential to change the world. To my readers, as a contributing human being on planet earth I hope this article that Colbert King wrote touches you enough to spread the word about suicide and the reality of it's prevelance. No one has to go it alone when they experience the pain of suicidal thoughts, tendencies, or depression. Simply passing this article along could make all the difference. Check out the link that I attached.
When it comes down to it we should all care that we are loosing individuals that most likely did not want to leave the earth in the way that they did. Depression is not always a genetically spread disease. We can experience depression because of a million other circumstances which means all of us are prone to experiencing depression. Depression is scary but it is not as scary as we all make it out to be. Take it from someone that has experienced depression since she was twelve years old, and for nine of those years was in an extreme suicidal depression. I have survived, and I know others have been and are able to survive as well. Compassion and love can go a long way, and sometimes things that we think are so bad are truly not. Sometimes those things that we are most scared of are actually the most spectacular and are just missing the support and guidance that we need to continue with our lives.
A Quote From the Washington Post Article
"A life gone just like that.
Of course the adult woman’s life was more than that leap to her death. A lifetime went with her. So many days and years of living, of talking and being talked to, and touching and learning and feeling. All of it had to have added up to something — at least enough to want to keep on living.
That it apparently did not is what brings on the sadness and sense of loss, even though she was someone I didn’t know. Our only encounter was in those moments when I drove past where she was lying.
I knew nothing about the soul beneath the sheet. What mattered is that she was one of us. I wished I had known her, at least long enough to have had a chance to try to do something: hear her out, help her out. To try to undo whatever damage had been done, to dispel the desperation that drove her to that bridge."
- Susan Page
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